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Literature / Greenglasshouse

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From the website of Jaime Zollars

Greenglass House is a 2014 young adult novel by Kate Milford. Happily Adopted 12-year-old Milo is home for winter break, and is hoping for a relaxing time with his parents. But when your parents run an old inn, famous for having been a hideout of one of the greatest smugglers of all time, with mysterious stained glass windows in every wall, and possible hidden treasure, and then an assorted group of smugglers, scholars, and misfits show up as inn guests, all bets on a quiet holiday are off.

Milo meets the inn's cook's daughter for the first time, a girl his age named Meddy, and they make a game of figuring out the guests' secrets. Meddy plays a D&D-like game called Odd Trails, and she and Milo create characters to roleplay as, which also helps Milo get over his shyness and anxiety.

Has a direct sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House, and a spiritual prequel of sorts, The Left-Handed Fate, with another prequel, Bluecrowne, being released in late 2018.

The books provide examples of the following tropes...

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    Greenglass House 
  • All That Glitters: Occurs in the climax; De Cary Vinge, an amateur historian or rather a customs agent with a grudge, comes to the inn hoping to find legendary smuggler Doc Holystone's lost treasure. Milo finds the treasure and it's a tabletop game figurine Doc made for his daughter Addie.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Clem is this, but played with. She IS a cat burglar, but she's not vampy, she's an athletic, red-haired Genki Girl.
  • Closed Circle: Meddy is tethered to the house, and turns into smoke if she tries to step off the property. The sequel reveals same goes for her father and the surrounding woods.
  • Dead All Along: Meddy, a.k.a. Addie Whitcher, daughter of Doc Holystone.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Georgie and Clem. Both are professional thieves that met through their work, but any hostility between them comes off as sisterly ribbing.
  • Happily Adopted: Milo is an adopted kid of Chinese ethnicity, whose parents are white. Aside from wondering about his birth parents and some feelings of guilt from it, it's mostly a non-issue.
  • Invisible to Normals: Meddy can only be seen by people she allows to see her, or already know about her.
  • Outlaw Town: The book's setting, the city of Nagspeake, is this to a T, with a heaping helping of City of Adventure.
  • Love Triangle: Georgie and Clem both love the same man, Owen. In the end, Clem wins.

    Ghosts of Greenglass House 
  • Chekhov's Gun: Lizzie's burnt stollen loaves. Mrs. Kirkegrim hid her stolen keys in the dough, then turned up the oven so the loaves would be thrown out and she could collect them in a quick getaway.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: When Clem and Georgie’s Violet Cross relics go missing, Milo and Meddy find half of them taken apart and hidden in the bathroom.
  • Eye Motifs: The two stories the Waits tell both feature characters with hollow eyes.
  • Faking the Dead: Violet Cross didn't go out in a battle on the Skidwrack. She's been living in hiding with her family in Liberty.
  • Fictional Country: It's implied that the town of Nagspeake is its own sovereign state, somewhere between the United States and Canada. It's definitely not a part of the U.S., as Georgie refers to an American quarter as "foreign currency."
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Clem and Georgie are total fangirls for folk hero outlaw Violet Cross. They're on the constant brink of fainting when they meet her in person.
  • Macguffin: Violet Cross' derrotero, a mysterious map said to reveal safe passages through the treacherous River Skidwrack.
  • Opposites Attract: Georgie the cat burglar hits it off with Emmett the customs agent.
  • Outlaw Town: The Asylum is like an Outlaw Town within the larger Outlaw Town of Nagspeake, in that it provides shelter for criminals on the run.
  • Real After All: Almost immediately after Milo learns Doc Holystone's ghost is a fake, he manages to summon the real Doc and the ghostly hobbyhorse from Lucky's story.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Inverted; Mr. Hakelbarend, Mrs. Kirkegrim and Marzanna are father, mother and child pretending to be acquaintances.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Turns out the ghost of Doc Holystone was a man trying to trick Milo.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Mrs. Kirkegrim is a thief, but she didn’t come to Greenglass with violent intentions. She just wanted to steal back her old seafaring equipment, and bestow one to her daughter as an heirloom.
  • Soul Jar: Exploited; Milo gets the idea to use Meddy's RPG figurine as one so she can leave the house and see her father.
  • Stern Chase: Mr. Hakelbarend's folktale about Liberty’s patron saint is centred around one.
  • That Poor Plant: A dying poinsettia in the parlour is a clue in Milo and Meddy's investigation. The fact it was healthy the day before makes them realize Mr. Larven faked his own poisoning by dumping copious glasses of spiked punch in the pot.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Mrs. Kirkegrim, aka infamous thief Cantlebone, aka the supposedly late Violet Cross.